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Money May vs. Stephen A.? – Mayweather, Jr. and Smith Trade Verbal Jabs

floyd1By Marc Livitz: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. hasn’t fought in an entire month, yet he still has managed to jump back into the boxing forefront just a bit. Last week, the pound for pound, dollar for dollar and chit for chat king sounded off in regard to a certain television and radio host’s opinion of his fighting exploits.

We’ve all heard at one time or another of the notion of flying pigs, however it’s all too familiar when a particular feeling is valued as much as a flying F bomb. “Listen, I don’t give two flying (expletive) what Stephen A. Smith says”, proclaimed the Michigan native to the first boxing writer who would actually publish the champ’s profanity laden tirade. It was as if the lucky fight scribbler had found the last shiny penny on the planet.

Floyd’s comeback of sorts was due to ESPN and Mad Dog Radio’s Stephen A. Smith’s assertions that the unbeaten boxer’s legacy would close with an asterisk if he continued to avoid Manny Pacquiao and instead squared off with Britain’s Amir Khan.

According to the opinionated and always energetic Smith, a rematch with either Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Miguel Cotto, respectively would suffice as ice cream sans any sprinkles. However, it was the reasoning of “Stephen A.” that “Money” had to meet the “Pac Man” in the ring, one way or another. The 37 year old Mayweather didn’t like the sound of that at all. “I ain’t never seen Stephen A. Smith dribble a basketball, catch a football or get in a boxing ring”, said Floyd. “He’s just a critic.” Of course, he’s just a critic.

Does Smith’s opinion matter more than the millions upon millions who essentially feel the same way? The majority of the world’s mobile phones could hardly carry a 1G signal when not only fight fans, but casual sport heads as well started clamoring for such a titanic matchup. Suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, one of Mayweather’s most ardent supporters (his “A1” since day one) ruffled a feather too many and the fireworks went off via the biggest caller of shots in American sports. If you or I declare the undefeated champ to be a cherry picker or guilty of caring more about dead presidents than setting a precedent, then we’re passed over as “haters” or amongst the throngs who are novices of the sweet science.

It would appear on the surface that despite his unblemished ledger (47-0, 26 KO’s) and oceans of cash, the sport’s bread and butter actually does give at least a whirly bird’s worth of an F bomb about the Queens, New York native’s most valid points. He does need to fight Manny Pacquiao to further solidify his legacy, even though there will still be those who will incessantly nitpick away at the man’s every move.

We don’t need another bout with neither Canelo nor Cotto, as we’ve already seen those two warriors have a shot at taking down the money man. The numbers in terms of pay TV would heartedly suggest that the time is now to face the Filipino slugger, even though in many ways the time has long since passed.

We had to wait until 1996 to see Mike Tyson finally square off with Evander Holyfield and all the while wondered how the fight would have transpired had it taken place as originally planned in late 1991. That was the biggest fight to be made at the time and for a dwindling many, a Mayweather/Pacquiao event can still be just that. The details between now and then are but pugilistic fodder and we’ve far outgrown the waiting.

“Stephen A.” got “Money May’s attention this time. That is for certain. The bickering is pointless and the argument that those of us who weren’t among the ranks of professional athletes are to be denied a voice is just a sugar pill. It’s as if we can’t criticize movies if we’ve never held down an acting job or we can’t send back a plate of foie gras without proof of our credentials from Le Cordon Bleu. Grow up, gentlemen and try to be adults. We don’t throw the barbs because we think we can do better. It’s because you, mister millionaire can do better – by us and for us.

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